2008 Château d’Anglès Classique Blanc, La Clape
A white that shows: a) just how good the white wines of Languedoc can be (and this is the cheaper of the two Anglès whites); and b) why blends can be so much more than the sum of their parts. It’s based on bourboulenc, with some grenache blanc, roussanne and marsanne, and is lightly aromatic with floral and citrus notes; the palate is ripe and honeyed with creamy, peachy fruit, but with the richness off-set by lovely citrus zing. Château d’Anglès, in its present form, is the creation of Eric Fabre who bought the estate in 2001 after 25 years in Bordeaux, eight of them as technical director of Château Lafite. If you don’t know Essentially Wine, now is the time. There are two shops, Chipstead in Surrey (blue plaque moment: I was brought up there) and Richmond, which is a rather larger and better known town in Surrey.
£10.49, Essentially Wine
2008 Fabre Montmayou Phebus Cabernet Sauvignon, Lujan de Cuyo Mendoza
Full-bodied but sleek Argentine cabernet sauvignon – and all the better for being unoaked to show off its perfume and purity of fruit. Aromas and flavours of violets, raspberries and cassis around a core of ripe yet fresh fruit and a satin-smooth texture. The vineyard altitude – 1050 metres – doubtless goes a long way to explain the finesse and the effortless way the wine carries its 14.5% abv. That, plus wines of a decent middling age (average 15 years) and the expertise of Bordeaux-born owner Hervé Joyaux Favre. 13.5% abv
2008 Clos des Cordeliers Cuvée Tradition, Saumur-Champigny
I hadn’t come across the Ratron cousins' Clos des Cordeliers until I tasted this at Richards Walford’s January tasting. What a find – invitingly fresh, red and green-pepper fragrance with rounded raspberry fruit and the supplest of tannins. Medium-bodied, beautifully balanced essence of cabernet franc. 13.5% abv £9.99, Adnams Cellar & Kitchen